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These diversity and inclusion leaders are paving the way.
More than ever before, employers are realizing the benefit of having a workforce that’s both diverse and inclusive. They’re seeing a boost to their bottom line and a return on investment when they hire a varied group of individuals who provide unique perspectives and ideas while mirroring their the variety in their customer base and the people they serve.
Employers have diversified their talent pools to include people with disabilities who are equally eager and up to the task of outperforming personal and company goals, if given the chance the tools to succeed.
In the winter 2016-2017 issue of CAREERS & the disABLED, we survey our readers on a variety of topics, including about the companies for which they'd most like to work or which they believe provide a positive working environment for people with disabilities. Their answers produced this year’s Top 50 Companies list that covers the private sector and the Top 20 Government Agencies list that covers the public sector. Both annual lists appeared in that issue.
Here, in this issue, we shine a spotlight on the three private-sector (Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar and GM) and three public-sector employers (CIA, IRS and FDA) that took the top three spots on each respective list.
These organizations are leading the way in recruiting, hiring and promoting of people with disabilities and building varied and inclusive workforce. The commitment of these diversity leaders is a driving force, paving the way for opportunities for employees with disabilities to thrive and succeed.
Lockheed Martin: Building a Foundation of D&I
For Lockheed Martin, diversity and inclusion (D&I) are the foundation of its culture. At the Bethesda, MD-based company D&I means understanding that each individual is different and recognizing these characteristics.
Diversity is a tool that supports its business strategies and allows the company to explore individual differences and similarities in a safe, positive and nurturing environment. It also allows Lockheed to leverage these attributes to deliver on customer commitments and to power innovation.
Building an inclusive work environment ensures Lockheed is able to attract, develop and retain a diverse workforce that has the opportunity to showcase and develop their skills and abilities. The organization believes all employees should have a safe and inclusive work environment - one in which everyone is treated fairly, with the highest standards of professionalism, ethical conduct and full compliance with the law. From the CEO down, it’s actively committed to promoting diversity and inclusion throughout the corporation.
Its programs include a corporate sustainability council, diversity councils, leadership forums, employee resources groups (ERGs) and employee networks, and they exist for African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) employees, military/veterans, women and people with disabilities.
In particular, Lockheed Martin’s comprehensive employee community, Able & Allies, is comprised of employee- and leader-specific resources including ERGs, an Ambassador Program and an annual Leadership Forum that creates a place to discuss enterprise-wide matters affecting the workforce where people can address everything from hiring to workplace accommodations on an enterprise level.
Launched in 2015, the program originally highlighted 25 employees to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Ambassadors gave a face to the Able & Allies community by empowering employees to self-nominate and volunteer to share their personal and professional experiences in dealing with disabilities, both apparent and non-apparent.
By sharing personal stories, ambassadors created a dialogue that has helped wipe away the stigma around disabilities. While ambassadors have had various speaking opportunities to share, each ambassador also has their story emblazoned on a poster with his or her image.
Log onto lockheedmartinjobs.com for Lockheed job opportunities. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr and Google+.
Caterpillar: Diversity Moves It Forward
At the Peoria, IL-based Caterpillar Inc., every single Caterpillar employee moves the company forward, and together the company creates sustainable, world-changing solutions that impact lives around the globe.
Caterpillar is committed to hiring a diverse array of smart, friendly people, and it shows in its culture. The company makes certain its employees feel continuously challenged while also supported. It provides professional growth opportunities, including leadership programs. And it celebrates the diversity of its team while working together as one Caterpillar.
Furthermore, the company is committed to ensuring its workplace is diverse and representative of the many customers its serves around the globe. The unique talents, experiences and viewpoints of all of its employees are of high value as they positively impact and influence the communities the company’s serves around the globe.
To ensure that our commitment to diversity and inclusion spreads throughout the company, Caterpillar established employee resource groups. ERGs connect dedicated employees who share similar life experiences or interests. These groups provide chances for personal and professional development. They help drive innovation, too. ERG membership is voluntary and open to all active Caterpillar employees.
ERGs include those for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, military/veterans and people with disabilities. In particular, the Abled and Disabled Employees Partnering Together (ADEPT) ERG was established in 2012 with a vision for Caterpillar to be recognized as a great place to work for employees with challenges.
More specifically, via education, personal development, support and outreach, Caterpillar enhances business results and enables Caterpillar business units to become acknowledged leaders in the employment of individuals with disabilities and those impacted by disabilities.
Caterpillar incorporates D&I into its culture by actively recruiting and retaining qualified individuals with disabilities in the organization, partnering with business units to ensure there are opportunities for professional growth, directing employees and leaders to the available resources to help with the navigation of company facilities, technology, policies and procedures, and engaging its workforce with events, activities and community outreach efforts to raise awareness.
Check caterpillar.com/en/careers.html for Caterpillar career opportunities. Connect on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+.
GM: Going the Extra Mile
Car maker General Motors (GM) works across cultures and nations via a dynamic network that encompasses suppliers, design centers, laboratories and manufacturing plants in more than 100 countries. Its sustainability efforts have also positioned the Detroit, MI-based GM as a leader in the areas of voluntary carbon reductions, clean energy patents, energy-efficient manufacturing and solar technology.
Building a more sustainable future, GM is leading the way in advancing battery-powered vehicles, while working to make all of its operations greener. Its connecting customers with their vehicles like never before, with enhanced safety features, 4G capability and on-board diagnostics.
GM’s initiative to “build a culture to win” has been deemed a top priority throughout the company because it knows its people is the reason it prospers. The organization fosters a culture where everyone feels valued and where its talent pool has the freedom and opportunity to grow, learn and evolve as professionals.
At GM each individual is valued for what he or she brings to the team, including background, education, gender, race, ethnicity, working and thinking styles, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, religious background, age, generation, disability, cultural expertise and technical skill.
GM employee resource groups are available for all types of backgrounds, and they include those for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, military/veterans and people with disabilities.
In particular, its ERG for People with Disabilities (PWD) serves as a resource to GM employees who are disabled or who care for a person with a disability and provides valuable input with regard to accessible design of GM products and facilities.
Go to careers.gm.com for GM job paths. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Glassdoor.
CIA: D&I Advances the Global Mission
By emphasizing adaptability in its approach to intelligence collection, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) can tailor its support to key intelligence consumers and help them meet their needs as they face the issues of the post-Cold War World.
Those working for the Langley, VA-based CIA have a vast array of responsibilities, and there are many jobs that require a wide variety of specialties. There are positions available in analysis, business, IT and security positions, directorate of operations (clandestine service), language, and science, engineering and technology.
The CIA further advances its global mission via diversity and inclusion, recognizing that the strength of the nation derives from its diversity and commitment to equal opportunity. This is particularly true in the national security arena, according to the CIA, where it must operate in a wide range of environments. Success in the intelligence business requires people with different backgrounds and different ways of seeing things. The Agency’s workforce must reflect the world in which it operates in order to meet the expectations of the American people.
Attracting diverse talent that includes people with disabilities and building a diverse and inclusive workforce, says the CIA, begins with robust outreach and recruitment strategies that reach a wide spectrum of the population. In particular, it focuses on strengthening relations with colleges and universities, diverse professional organizations, heritage-based groups and minority-serving institutions from across the country.
Engagement with these groups raises awareness and understanding about the CIA’s work and expands sources of mission-critical talent.
See cia.gov/careers for CIA career paths. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
IRS: Hiring All Abilities
The Washington, DC-based Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides America’s taxpayers with quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities.
The IRS believes in the abilities of all of its professionals, and it’s committed to hiring qualified individuals at all levels of the organization. The goal at the IRS, specifically as an employer of people with disabilities, is to be a model within the federal government and for companies in the private sector.
Achievements related to diversity and inclusion can only be accomplished when an agency truly believes in creating a workforce that represents the American population. To that end, its human capital office (HCO) and its office of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) collaborate on all efforts to develop fair and equitable policies that support D&I.
The IRS recognizes local and national employee resource groups such as IRS-DEAF, Visually Impaired Employees Workforce (VIEW) and Military Outreach for Service (MOS), plus organizations that support specific races, creeds and national origins.
Additionally, the IRS emphasizes the importance of considering candidates that can be hired under either Schedule A (disability) or 30 percent disabled veteran before using a competitive authority.
The IRS actively recruits and retains individuals with disabilities (IWD) and veterans with disabilities. Using networking tools, online webinars, its official YouTube channel - youtube.com/user/irsvideos - and conference calls, as well as maintaining open communication with statewide Departments of Vocational Rehabilitation, all allow the IRS to tap into resources at a moment’s notice.
The IRS further partners with D&I offices at colleges and universities, including institutions that have veteran and IWD student populations.
The core occupations at the IRS focus on customer service, tax processing, and tax auditing and collection. Seasonal workers are needed every year to support tax processing and customer service operations. Tax auditing occupations require some accounting education. Opportunities also exist in field offices and for working independently, reviewing tax audits and more.
On the IRS website, irs.gov, job seekers with disabilities can learn more about the Schedule A hiring authority and the application process, reasonable accommodation, affinity groups, World Services for the Blind and the IRS, and the Schedule A resume portal, among other things.
Investigate jobs.irs.gov and USAJOBS.gov for IRS job possibilities. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr.
FDA: Committed to a Diverse Workforce
The Silver Spring, MD-based U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It’s dedicated to the protection and advancement of the public health. The FDA is also a scientific agency that regulates the safety and efficacy of America’s foods, drugs and medical devices.
To successfully perform its critical mission, the FDA actively recruits highly qualified administrative, professional and scientific talent from around the world. It also attends job fairs throughout the U.S. to promote and recruit for mission-critical medical and science positions to strengthen the public health mission. The FDA’s 10,000 employees represent the organization’s most valuable asset: its human capital.
Ensuring a high-quality, diverse and motivated workforce is a key FDA objective, and it’s committed to the principles of equity and diversity in the workplace to remain a high-performing agency in the 21st century.
To this end, the FDA’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (OEEO) has established a Diversity and Inclusion Steering Council and Advisory Council, which serves as an advisory body on matters of employee diversity. Its purpose is to lead the way in finding new and innovative approaches toward making the agency an employer of choice for everyone. By supporting and encouraging the contributions of its employees and their efforts toward accomplishing the mission of the agency, it fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion that yields significant current and future dividends for the regulatory agency.
Focus on www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WorkingatFDA/default.htm and USAJOBS.gov for FDA careers. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
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